Weekend Recipe: Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Have any big feasts you're hosting in the near future? This one from America's Test Kitchen is a real crowd-pleaser -- but don't worry, as long as you use grade B maple syrup, the final product won't be too sweet. Just delicious!

Photo courtesy America's Test KitchenMaple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Serves 6

3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses, light or mild
2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon table salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 pork tenderloins (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Stir ½ cup maple syrup, molasses, bourbon, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne together in 2-cup liquid measure; set aside. Whisk cornstarch, sugar, salt, and black pepper in small bowl until combined. Transfer cornstarch mixture to rimmed baking sheet. Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels, then roll in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Thoroughly pat off excess cornstarch mixture.

Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Reduce heat to medium and place both tenderloins in skillet, leaving at least 1 inch in between. Cook until well browned on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer tenderloins to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.

Pour off excess fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add syrup mixture to skillet, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, and cook until reduced to ½ cup, about 2 minutes. Transfer 2 tablespoons glaze to small bowl and set aside. Using remaining glaze, brush each tenderloin with approximately 1 tablespoon glaze. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 130 degrees, 12 to 20 minutes. Brush each tenderloin with another tablespoon glaze and continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 135 to 140 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Remove tenderloins from oven and brush each with remaining glaze; let rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.

While tenderloins rest, stir remaining ¼ cup maple syrup and mustard into reserved 2 tablespoons glaze. Brush each tenderloin with 1 tablespoon mustard glaze. Transfer meat to cutting board and slice into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Serve, passing extra mustard glaze at table.

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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